RSL seeks marching band for Anzac Day parade
FOR the first time in recent memory, Gympie's Anzac Day march may lack an integral element - a marching band.
RSL sub-branch president Ivan Friske said Gympie's stock of musicians with the ability to walk as they play has dwindled in recent times and the only remaining marching band in town was booked out.
"The one we had, the Caledonian Pipe Band, are already booked and unavailable."
Mr Friske said the parade will certainly go ahead, but are desperate to continue the tradition of including music.
"The parade will still go ahead but there won't be a band at this stage.
"We are in the process to see if some drummers will be made available from the high school.
"We don't have a piper for down in the Memorial Park at the 11 o'clock service. We do have a bugle player."
Gympie continues to attract a strong turnout for the parade, an essential link to Australia's past.
Mr Friske said he would like to put the call out to any musicians who think they can help with the march.
"We are hoping we can fill it (the marching band) from here. We have contacted a couple of places but they are all taken up.
"We are definitely open to the idea of someone coming from elsewhere.
"Even if they are a single music players who can play and march, if we get these drummers from the high school to form a patch up band of sorts."
Mr Friske said the planning is going well, but the closure of Smithfield St has caused a lurch in the march logistics.
"There will be some finer detail to work out closer to the day, at this stage they are coming along fine.
"As long as everyone is aware Smithfield St is out of action. We are trying to work with school groups and community groups to form up in the upper part of Mary St. We had talks with the council planning department last year because we knew the street was going to be done up at some stage.
"We had chats about Memorial Park and asked about Smithfield St, but they never gave us any indication it was going to be closed."
If anyone is interested in helping with the march or needs more information call the RSL on 54837707.